Seven-year-old Brian is excited. His daddy is home from a land Brian can barely pronounce. The last time he saw his dad was a year ago when he hugged him goodbye at the airport. It was a hug that seemed to last forever. Then, Brian watched his dad, donned in an Army battledress, board a plane that would take him far away. Now, that plane has returned.
Brian grips his mother's hand as they walk to the gated fence, eagerly anticipating their reunion. He glances up and sees tears streaming down his mother's face. She can't be sad, he thinks. They must be tears of joy.
Suddenly, Brian turns his attention toward the big transport plane that opens its back end with a loud swoosh before extending its ramp to the ground. He expects his dad to bound down the ramp and run into their welcoming arms. But something isn't right. As the afternoon sun beams brighter, Brian squints to see better. Then he spots them: six soldiers, dressed in their best uniforms, holding onto the side of a long wooden box that is draped in a United States flag. Slowly -- and with precision -- they descend the ramp with the box between them.
"Brian," said Brian's mom as she kneels before him, "There is something I need to tell you."
Dear God: Help us, every day, to remember all of those who gave their lives for freedom. May we honor them by praying for their family and friends. We are ever so grateful for their devotion to duty, their call to courage and their ultimate sacrifice.